Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Gulkana

Community:
Gulkana 
Staff:
Julie Dirks  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Gulkana Village 
Population:
101  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/10/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is currently derived from a well, is treated and stored in a 100,000-gal. tank. Due to iron and magnesium levels, new infiltration galleries on the Gulkana River and water treatment improvements are still under construction. A piped water and sewer system serves most homes. A community septic tank treats wastewater. A number of residences also use individual wells and septic tanks. A master plan has been completed to examine connection of all homes to a new system. Permafrost and high water tables are problematic in this region. The Public Health Service (PHS) constructed a laundromat in 1976, but it is not functioning -- a washeteria is needed in the community.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Anchorage RUBA staff traveled to Gulkana on May 12, 2009. The Native Village of Gulkana is presently being managed by an administrator. A sewage lagoon project will be completed this summer and the village is working on constructing a water treatment plant. Other projects include road improvements and a centralized boiler system using wood pellets as fuel. The boiler unit will service the community buildings and HUD homes. A balanced budget was provided for the 2009 water/wastewater utility. A review of budget vs. actual indicates that the water and sewer utiity has brought in more revene than expenses. Gulkana continues to meet all essential management indicators at this time. Information was left regarding RUBA training available, local government assistance, QuicBooks classes and the contracter Quickbooks assistance helpline.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA assistance will be provided to the community if requested. RUBA staff will provide assistance via phone, fax and email to the community. A trip will be made to Gulkana during the coming quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 26
Total Score:
51 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
Yes The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
Yes YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Tribal staff uses QuickBooks 2007 for all the utility finances including the operations of the Tribal Council. The water and sewer utility budget report has revenue and expense line items listed with the remaining balance of the approved budget. Utility expense is subsidized by state community revenue sharing and housing rental income. The Tribal Administrator provides a verbal financial report to Village Council members at their regularly scheduled meetings. RUBA staff recommended that the Tribal Administrator have a written report of utility activities for Council members on a monthly basis. The budget vs. actual report for October, 2008 through April, 2009 shows that the village council has received more revenue ($29,867) than was initially budgeted ($19,842). Expenses were budgeted at $23,055 with actual expenditures totaling $21,217 as of April, 09.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
Yes An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
Yes An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
Yes A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
Yes The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
Yes Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
Yes The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.
Accounting Systems Comments
A consultant trained tribal staff on the proper use of QuickBooks software in 2007. Refresher training is provided annually. QuickBooks is used for billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and cash receipts. The Council has a procurement policy in place for supplies, equipment, and contracts. Purchases over $500 must be approved by the Tribal Administrator and Accountant. Purchases of less than $500 are approved by the Tribal Administrator. Purchases exceeding $5,000 are approved by the village council.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
Yes If there are any past due tax liabilities or recorded tax liens, a lien release has been issued or a repayment agreement has been signed and repayments are current.
Tax Problems Comments
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has indicated the Gulkana Village Council is in compliance with tax filing and deposit requirements.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
Yes The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
Yes The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
Yes The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
Yes The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
Yes The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The Gulkana Village Council has Workers Compensation coverage with Umialik Insurance Company with an effective date of April 1, 2009 through April 1, 2010. A personnel policy is in place and job descriptions are available for all employees. If a position becomes vacant, the position is advertised and qualified candidates are interviewed for the position. Once an employee has been selected for a position, they are on probation for 90 days.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
Yes The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Village Council adopted a water and sewer ordinance in 2000 which is followed by utility staff and customers. The Tribal Administrator reports to the Village Council President on the activities of the utility on a regular basis. The Tribal Administrator and Bookkeeper have been in their positions for several years; these long term employees have meant stability for the utility.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
Yes The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The manager receives a monthly O&M report from the utility operator and routinely "spot checks" the facilities to see that the maintenance items are being completed.
Yes The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
Yes Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
Yes The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The water treatment system of Gulkana appears on the January, 2009 SNC list with Stage 1 violations related to TTHM and HAA5. A new treatment method is required before the village can be removed from the SNC. A surface water intake and treatment system is in the design stages. The operator provides verbal reports about utility operations to the Administrator. The current operator is certified until December 31, 2009 Water Distribution P and Water Treatment 1.